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Multiple victims including one dead in Central District shootout — UPDATE: More shootings overnight

Multiple people were reported shot in a shootout near 21st and Union Friday afternoon including one person reported dead at a nearby hospital.

Shots rang out along E Union just after 3:00 PM in a chaotic scene involving multiple armed suspects and at least three victims.

UPDATE: Police have confirmed that one person was found dead outside Swedish and two more were taken to Harborview in unknown condition.

Police flooded the area looking for at least one suspect seen fleeing in a vehicle.

Some of the victims were taken by private vehicles to nearby Swedish Cherry Hill where police said one person was reported dead via East Precinct radio.

Gang and homicide detectives were dispatched to the scene.

Police found shell casings and bullet holes from multiple firearms. A large pool of blood was found near where one of the victims was reportedly loaded into a Lyft vehicle and taken to the hospital.

UPDATE: Here is SPD’s brief on the shooting:

Detectives are investigating after one person was killed and two others were injured Friday in a shooting in the Central District.

At 3:15 Friday afternoon, at least one suspect opened fire on a group of victims in the 2100 block of East Union Street. The victims fled the scene and drove to Swedish Hospital – Cherry Hill. One victim was pronounced dead at the hospital, while two others were transported to Harborview Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries.

Detectives are now reviewing evidence and speaking with witnesses. Anyone with information is asked to call 206-233-5000.

SPD’s Gang Unit will continue to conduct emphasis patrols in the Central District and other neighborhoods affected by gun violence.

UPDATE: SPD spokesperson said there has been a gang emphasis patrol underway in the area where Friday’s shooting took place.

“We do actually have a gang emphasis going on in this neighborhood now,” Detective Patrick Michaud said.

Sergeant Sean Whitcomb said recent decisions around safety and street crime clean-ups in downtown and a select set of Seattle neighborhoods haven’t reduced resources for the East Precinct.

“Just so everyone knows, there’s been a lot of discussion about these safety and maintenance emphasis patrols which have a very specific design and strategy,” Whitcomb said Friday. “Separately, the Seattle Police Department is very concerned about gun violence and has been and will continue to do gun violence emphasis with our gang unit in this neighborhood and other neighborhoods affected by gun violence.”

Whitcomb said the gun violence emphasis effort “ebbs and flows as the data shows that we need to do more.”

Video of the full SPD media briefing from the scene is below.

UPDATE 5/11/2019 8:57 AM: Two shootings — one along Rainier and the other at 28th and Jackson — sent at least two more people to the hospital overnight.

Police found a man shot in the forearm and hip area bleeding in the parking lot of the church across from Fire Station 6 just after midnight. The shooting scene was found a few blocks away at 28th and Jackson where multiple gunshots were reported and police found shell casings from a possible semi-automatic handgun and blood. Witnesses reported people fleeing the area on foot and at least one group of possible suspects including a gunman last seen in a vehicle speeding from the shooting.

A SPD mobile command unit vehicle and multiple officers were already in the area at the time of the shooting. Seattle Fire responded to where the victim was found across the street and transported him to Harborview.

A possible second victim arrived at Harborview on foot more than 20 minutes after the shooting and told police he had been shot in Tukwila. Police were investigating the man’s story.

Earlier in the night around 11:15 PM, SPD says it responded to a shooting near a house in the 6000 block of 46th Av S just off Rainier Ave S where at least one person was injured.

String of gun violence
Friday’s homicide and the overnight shootings follow a string of gun violence across the Central District and Capitol Hill. Last Friday, May 3rd, a female victim was reportedly hit in the leg in the crossfire of a shootout at the gas station at 23rd and Cherry. The day before that, an early Thursday morning shooting sent a male to Harborview with non life-threatening injuries after a round of gunfire in an alley at 17th and Mercer.

Last week, Mayor Jenny Durkan and Seattle Police announced a “Pre-Summer Emphasis Program” in seven neighborhoods to try to get ahead of summer street crime and violence. Capitol Hill and the Central District were not included in the plan. Last year, CHS reported on community crime surveying performed by Seattle University on behalf of SPD that revealed how areas like Ballard with lower levels of actual violent incidents reported higher levels of fear about crime while areas like Capitol Hill and the Central District were less fearful.

The 17th Ave E incident was the third time a person had been shot on Capitol Hill in recent weeks. A man was shot in the leg in a Melrose alley Tuesday, April 23rd. Early on April 20th, a male victim suffered a grazing wound after being shot in the head in a shootout in a Pine parking lot.

Recent Central District shootings have included a Saturday night, April 20th shootout that injured one at 23rd and Jackson and an afternoon shootout in the same area earlier that week.

In March on Capitol Hill, a 21-year-old was gunned down in a deadly shooting at the basketball court in Cal Anderson.

In addition to the gang emphasis patrols that SPD says have been underway around the Central District and Pike/Pine, the department says its longterm efforts including social program to curb gun violence are working.

In a presentation to City Council in March prior to the latest rounds of violence, Seattle Police and city officials documented what we know about the city’s shootings and what is being done to prevent them. The Seattle strategies outlined include addressing issues of equity and tackling problems around mental health.

The victims of gun violence are disproportionately young and black — 52% of Seattle shooting victims in 2018 were black.

UPDATE 5/11/19 4:54 PM: Family have identified the victim as 19-year-old Royale Lexing.

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49 thoughts on “Multiple victims including one dead in Central District shootout — UPDATE: More shootings overnight

  1. So sad, I hope everyone is ok, nothing new though. This will happen again and again and again and again.

  2. Very sad. Just wanted to say that when I hopped on Twitter, Komo, and King 5 to get info on why 20 emergency response vehicles ran past my house and I heard a helicopter in the air: they had nothing. You had a blog entry up within minutes! I really appreciate that level of dedication to getting the news out – it’s appreciated!

    • I couldn’t agree more. The local news is worthless, but the CD news and Cap Hill News are amazing. Thank you!

    • Agreed, they are a good resource for community news and updates. Thank you!

      Same in West Seattle where my partner lives, the WS Blog is also always on top of news there too.

    • Amazingly, KNKX (public radio, 88.5) had a warning to avoid the 23rd & Union intersection about 10 minutes after we heard the gunshots. (This is the third or fourth incident of gunfire on E Union between 23rd & 20th Avenues in the past several mos.) KNKX has been updating the situation every 10 minutes or so. Websites or webpages that usually have a quick response to crime events in the Central District (in addition to Capitol Hill Seattle blog) are the Central Area Citizens Against Violence (CA-CRV) Facebook page and social media site for the 23rd & Union neighborhood (you have to live in the prescribed borders of the neighborhood to join). [For those of you who count on CapitolHillSeattle blog for their Central District news, please subscribe to the blog through Patreon!]

    • Yes, those damn gentrifiers! It must be their fault (despite this happened far before they came). The answer must be more $ for “community leaders”.

  3. You want to know what’s happening when you hear tons of sirens or the helicopter, the Seattle police scanner is online…
    I see he’s got a link on the right. I usually use this one -
    it’s been the most reliably connected one recently.

    • I’m guessing doing emphasis patrols in diverse neighborhoods would have received a poor response about profiling.

      • The thing is, the Central District isn’t diverse anymore. It’s so gentrified it’s disgusting. This is why I moved out of Seattle, and found a wonderful diverse neighborhood in Renton (Talbot HIll) Howerver my youngest still attends Seattle Public Schools (Nova High School) and luckily for us and him, he was already home when the shootings happened. I’m so happy he’s graduating this year, I’m sick of Seattle and their BS.

      • Yes.

        But 23rd and Union needs “profiling”, if by that you mean “there is recurring gun violence at this intersection and in the vicinity and the police need to add extra patrols.”

        And, yes, I know this was a block up.

        Hopefully the closure and redevelopment of the Midtown block–how great is it that the entire block is now vacant and fenced off (pretty great!)–will hopefully lessen the recurring gun violence in the area.

        So, so, so good to have that ugly block cleared for demolition and the ridiculous voices advocating against redeveloping the site silenced once and for all.

        Also great not to have: a liquor store, or that weird dollar store, or the ugly post office that was pretty much useless except, naturally, to older posters on this site who–apparently–need a post office with acres of parking no more than 5 minutes from their door because they need–and I mean NEED–to go to the post office approx. 597 times per week.

        Also great not to have soon: that gross church with its scammy “pastor” next door to Ikes. My guess is they will remain silent about this violence but will protest the “evils” of Seattle hipsters buying weed in a regulated store next door because, naturally, that is what Jesus would want them to do….

        Ugh, that church can’t be gone fast enough.

        If gentrification means fewer gunshots in this area I say bring it on.

      • Fremont has seen a 52% spike in crime in the past year according to Assistant SPD Chief Eric Greening at the Mayor’s meeting with D5 folks this week.

      • If you don’t live there, you really have no idea what’s going on there. I’d wager to bet the South End also still has way more shootings than CH or the CD, but you probably don’t hear about them as much if you’re not looking for it.

    • We already had a specifically gang focused emphasis patrol going on before the new emphasis patrols were announced in other neighborhoods.
      So they are not as interested in thefts and burglaries as the Fremont-Ballard patrols are. .

  4. Stay safe, neighbors.

    and @S Walker – No, everyone is not ok. At least one person is dead. “Nothing new though”? WTF is wrong with you?

    • Walker knows as well as I do, it’s nothing new. After 25-30 years you see, you have a bit more experience and understanding of your hood. And it’s still our hood. Thank you, ah thank you very much.

      • Everyone dies, all creatures on this planet, so true in that sense, it’s nothing new.
        I don’t know you, and you don’t know me, so not realistically possible to compare levels of experience and understanding of each other, especially not online.
        I moved to the neighborhood in 1991, and have been in my current place off Union for over 15 years. My response will never be “nothing new” in response to a violent death or actions, no matter where I live.

  5. Other news outlets are reporting that the suspects’ car was described by witnesses as a tan Chevy Malibu.

    • I heard that description from a neighbor – we both live on the block where the car was parked and left.

  6. Good to know the neighborhood has not entirely been gentrified. It is a social justice issue that these shootings continue and that those responsible for them not be displaced. Too bad Ike’s Glass Goods replaced a restaurant site where two murders took place.

    • Good? Someone is dead. What is wrong with you? And your assumption that this happened because they were “displaced” might support your narrative but no facts have been presented. Suspects still on the run. Facts are fun

      • It’s just his poor attempt at satire.
        Condolences to the family and friends of the deceased.

  7. As a long time resident if Seattle Central district I can say this is part of the reason i just relocated. 22nd & Union near three of largest black churches and two of them historical but none of them trying to do anything. They will not stand up, out or even take a public stand. I am sorry for the victims and their families and pray for the neighborhood.

    • But there’s pot being sold in a legal manner nearby to be protested!

      And I shudder to think what would happen if **whispers** some homosexuals moved in and opened a business near one of these churches! Or paraded out front!

      Homosexuals! Near a church! Think of the children and the old people!

      Now there are two examples of things that need to be protested LONG before addressing gun violence literally on the church steps!

      Pot and homosexuals! Priorities!

      • I think we do, Jim.

        We need to worry about old people’s access to a post office whenever they need it…which is A LOT.

        Both homo- and hetero- old people, Jim.

        I personally vote that the whole Midtown project be scrapped and the block consist entirely of a post office with the rest a surface parking lot…so grandma can get in her car, drive the 5 minutes it takes to reach the site, park effortlessly, and go to the post office the 694 times a week she needs to.

        Senior access to post offices is CLEARLY one of the main issues, if not the main issue, facing the 23rd and Union area today.

        I mean, with the post office currently closed…what will the old people do?

        Where will they go for their (apparent) 24/7 need for postal services?

        Who knows?

        All I know is that it’s a major issue the ENTIRE community needs to get on board with.

        Maybe when the church next to Ikes sells it can be converted into a 24/7 postal complex grandma can have priority access to?

        Maybe a massive parking garage can be build next door to ensure easy access for grandma?

        All this seems so reasonable to me…and yet here is the community dropping the ball…

      • Love all the self centered newbies wantin to change our ways around here… they’ll either learn to evolve or fall down. There’s no in between.

      • Let me clue you in PD. If you’re going to blather on, pontificating with sarcasm, around these here parts you’re supposed to begin your post with, “….I think I speak for everyone when I say….”

  8. Just last week the NAACP co-sponsored an event at The Summit, less than 2 miles from the shooting. It was titled “Weaponizing Charges of Anti-Semitism”. It accused Jews of hurting “powerful black” figures by falsely accusing them of anti-Semitism. Several other “social justice” and church leaders took part.
    It’s amazing how these activists have all the time in the world to denounce Jews for denouncing what they feel as bigotry. Maybe their time would be better spent elsewhere.

    • I think you are seriously mischaracterizing what the event was about…it was, as I understand, about right wing weaponization of charges of antisemitism a la the Ilhan Omar “controversy.”

  9. These comments are hilarious! You think putting up some pretty new buildings are going to push violence out? I suppose you haven’t heard of all the murders that take place in the suburbs. If your intent is to displace those who populated the central district before you (the good ol American way) then you deserve the discomfort and fear you feel. If you’re scared perhaps you should leave the territory. That’s assuming you bigots actually own something. A person lost their LIFE! But alas… you all love your precious house dogs more than your neighbors.

  10. So glad the police were able to show up, find the bullet casings and pool of blood and ask people what happened. They even were able to figure out what happened while they were not there. It’s not like there have been previous shooting incidents in the area so how could they know? Good jobs cops! (useless)

  11. Dang it just happened again! Im out in my yard and i heard a bunch of gunshots just 5 min ago, police sirens after

    • Same. Heard at least 15 gunshots around midnight. Police scanner said 1 gunshot victim at Jackson & MLK. several police cars also at 28th & Jackson. Victim is not talking to police.

  12. I hope that the “no snitch” rule, for once, will not be in effect with this shooting, and that witnesses will give useful information. But I’m not optimistic.

    • As someone mugged at gunpoint targeted solely because I was a customer of a “local retailer” at everyone’s favorite intersection whose own security guard identified the mugger on video, giving his name to police but later refusing to testify and thereby allowing said mugger to go free, I can say that “no snitch” is vividly alive and well.

      But, you know, at least the security guard got to keep his job and his reputation. Justice served!

      • Ton of kids in neighborhood/ middle school. Quite concerned. Cops should be at school when buses load up

      • A couple years back I sat on a jury where one of these “frequent flier” violent perps committed a similar crime in front of a store on MLK Blvd. The store owner agreed to be a witness, but when it came time for him to show-up, he was a no-show.

        And during the short period of time the trial occurred, the defendant stared at all of us in a menacing fashion while his court-appointed lawyers chatted away about how no witness meant no evidence.

        And yet some Seattle people think the deck is stacked against violent, repeat offenders – and that dangerous people spend too much time in jail.

  13. Ton of kids in neighborhood/ middle school. Quite concerned. Cops should be at school when buses load up